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I found a Combat Commander in .38 super. Login/Join 
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Picture of P-220
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Ever since falling in love with the P-220 in .38 Super, I have been in the hunt for a Combat Commander, chambered for .38 Super. They are out there, but often bring a premium, even for very used examples.

Several months ago, I won an auction for a Wilson Elite Professional chambered in .38 Super. After receiving it, I contacted Wilson b/c the frame was not steel. They confirmed mine has an aluminum frame. Great gun and I love it, but still wanted a Colt Combat Commander, preferably on from the 70's.

A few weeks ago, I located one (not a 70's) about 25 minutes from where I work.

This is not a 70's, but an early 80BS serial number, and this one does not have the Mark IV Series 80 roll mark. It is used, but not abused and has a very faint idiot scratch.

I got to shoot it today for the first time. My Wilson is far more accurate, but this has the factory sights, which are minimalist.

200 rounds of Remington Green box ammo, in a little over an hour. Using one original factory mag and one Mec-gar, the Colt did not miss a beat and ran like a well oiled machine.

My best 7 yard groups were in the 4" range. Like I said, I shoot the Wilson better, but love this Colt.

Any other Combat Commander .38 Super fans out there?


Niech Zyje P-220

Steve
 
Posts: 34626 | Location: 45174 | Registered: December 09, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Did you get a steel frame model Steve ? I nearly bought a stainless Government Model in Super as our Gander Mountain had 2 and reduced them down to $749.00. I've also been wondering, you have more than one .38 Super so do you save your brass, reload ? I wouldn't let a single empty case get away. You plan on having any work done to the Colt ? Oh, and where are the pijjers ? Big Grin
 
Posts: 14380 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
3° that never cooled
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A satin nickel Combat Commander in 38 Super is the first new Colt I ever bought, back around 1970. It
was reliable, but a rattletrap, with the old style Colt Super barrel that attempted, unsuccessfully, to headspace on the case rim. Accuracy was non existent and flattened and pierced primers were routine. We've come a long way since those days, when our options were Colt or surplus. Anyway, hopefully your Colt Super will perform much better than mine did back in the day.


COTEP #640, NRA Life
 
Posts: 1169 | Location: Out West | Registered: August 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Steel frame. I let the brass fly. I was able to buy it on-line for 27-32 cents per round. I am not set up to reload.

The Range Officer cam out to ask me what I was shooting. the Remington Green box produces quite the flame. Smile

The damn thing ran like a well oiled machine. While not the most accurate, I hesitate to modify it and lose its reliability.

My first .45 was a 70's Satin Combat Commander. Wish I had it back.


Niech Zyje P-220

Steve
 
Posts: 34626 | Location: 45174 | Registered: December 09, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had one about that I sold about 5 yrs ago and later regretted parting with it. They are the perfect platform for the 38 Super round. Dan Wesson doesn't offer a Combat Commander for this cartridge but will build one if someone wants to go that route. I've been playing with the idea but something always gets in the way and the plan never materializes. Too bad Colt never has made a special run of them. So far they've only made runs of the lightweight version.
 
Posts: 1516 | Registered: March 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
My best 7 yard groups were in the 4" range. Like I said, I shoot the Wilson better, but love this Colt.
Good grief, it ought to shoot one-hole groups from that yardage. Were you doing controlled pairs drills? My Colt Combat Commander and a Ruger CMD that takes the same Colt upper will do that with any ammunition I've run through it. Sounds like you've got a slide that's not locking up right. Rod


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Posts: 509 | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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80BS is generally a Series 70 gun. I had/have a few Colt 9mm 1911's with those prefixes and they were series 70 internals from Colt, google the entire serial number and lookup the prefix and most likely what you have is a series 70 gun, they swapped slide markings but were still using the series 70 internal trigger parts up. They would however have the modern barrel bushing and not the collet series 70 bushing. But if memory serves me right all series 70 commanders had the modern barrel bushing, and only the governments had the collet style.
 
Posts: 15832 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by P-220:

I got to shoot it today for the first time. My Wilson is far more accurate, but this has the factory sights, which are minimalist.

My best 7 yard groups were in the 4" range. Like I said, I shoot the Wilson better, but love this Colt.


If you like the Colt 1911 in 38 super do yourself a favor and have a good aftermarket 38 super barrel fitted. You will enjoy it much more when it shoots well.

All the Colt made 1911 made in 38 super till the early 1990s had headspace issues. Accuracy was very bad as a result. For many decades colt headspaced the 38 super off the semi rim instead of the case mouth like the 45 ACP and 9mm. When Sig came out with the P220 in 38 Super they headspaced the super off of the case mouth the proper way.


....Shredding lead both barrels
 
Posts: 1509 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by jimmy123x:
But if memory serves me right all series 70 commanders had the modern barrel bushing, and only the governments had the collet style.


This. Colt Commanders and Combat Commanders have always used a solid (albeit shorter) barrel bushing. When Colt introduced the collet type barrel bushing on their full size models in 1971, slides were roll marked MK IV, Series 70 to designate the change. Therefore, it is technically incorrect to use the term Series 70 when referring to a Commander or Combat Commander pistol. In 1983, Colt introduced the firing pin safety across their entire product line. At this time, all Colt pistols (including the Commander Models) were roll marked Series 80 to designate this change. Over time, the term Series 70 became synonymous with the pre-firing pin safety and found its way into common usage to identify any 1911 pistol without the feature. When the Combat Commander was introduced in ~1971, the serial number prefix for the blue steel model was 70BS. When Colt reached serial number 70BS99999, they simply changed the prefix to 80BS which was used until the introduction of the Series 80 models in 1983. As it relates to the Combat Commander, the 70BS or 80BS serial number prefix has nothing to do with the internals of the pistol.
 
Posts: 2307 | Location: Western PA | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Congrats! I love the Super. Mine is a Talo LW though. You can try looking up your SN on Colt's website if you are curious. It's not always in there though.

https://www.colt.com/Customer-...Serial-Number-Lookup
 
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Congratulations on a nice addition!!
 
Posts: 1326 | Registered: October 17, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for all the feedback, I have learned a lot. I had no idea about the headspace. I was also unaware it is the roll mark that indicated the change and not the serial number, but it makes sense.

My Wilson and P-220 in .38 Super both shoot circles around the Colt. That said, there is just something I like about the Colt.

I do wish Colt would make a run of Combat Commanders chambered for .38 Super.


Niech Zyje P-220

Steve
 
Posts: 34626 | Location: 45174 | Registered: December 09, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is a good read on the headspace in Colt barrels.

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=182030
 
Posts: 7920 | Registered: June 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jelly:
quote:
Originally posted by P-220:

I got to shoot it today for the first time. My Wilson is far more accurate, but this has the factory sights, which are minimalist.

My best 7 yard groups were in the 4" range. Like I said, I shoot the Wilson better, but love this Colt.


If you like the Colt 1911 in 38 super do yourself a favor and have a good aftermarket 38 super barrel fitted. You will enjoy it much more when it shoots well.

All the Colt made 1911 made in 38 super till the early 1990s had headspace issues. Accuracy was very bad as a result. For many decades colt headspaced the 38 super off the semi rim instead of the case mouth like the 45 ACP and 9mm. When Sig came out with the P220 in 38 Super they headspaced the super off of the case mouth the proper way.


That is what I did, accuracy is MUCH improved. Kart was terrific to work with too.




 
Posts: 10637 | Location: Westminster, Colorado | Registered: June 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by kaschi:
I had one about that I sold about 5 yrs ago and later regretted parting with it. They are the perfect platform for the 38 Super round. Dan Wesson doesn't offer a Combat Commander for this cartridge but will build one if someone wants to go that route. I've been playing with the idea but something always gets in the way and the plan never materializes. Too bad Colt never has made a special run of them. So far they've only made runs of the lightweight version.


I went to the trouble and love my VBOB in 38 Super. I own 6 1911s in 38 Super and this by far my favorite. I reload and play around with some hot loads that I routinely carry and it handles them without a hitch.



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Posts: 586 | Location: Northern Alabama | Registered: June 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm hoping to get a 38 Super barrel for my Ruger LW Commander 9mm. Always wanted a LW Commander in 38 Super.
 
Posts: 4339 | Location: Middletown, PA | Registered: January 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In my best Ron White voice "I like it, I don't love it."

I do not mind spending a couple of hundred dollars to make it better, but I am not interested in spending a bunch of money. It appears to be reliable, just a little short in the accuracy department. Any gunsmith recommendations appreciated.

Thank you.


Niech Zyje P-220

Steve
 
Posts: 34626 | Location: 45174 | Registered: December 09, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kart offers drop in Exact fit barrels but they may require some minor fitting. They come in kit form with everything needed to install. Ed Brown has drop in Match Super barrels for the Commander but, these have the fully supported chamber and I cannot recall if this requires minor internal machining of your frame. I bet there are people here with the knowledge. Even Bruce Gray would put a Exact fit barrel kit in your Colt and I bet within a hour.
 
Posts: 14380 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Steve, there are videos on line which show exactly how minor it is to fit the Kart kits.
 
Posts: 14380 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It may be that Kart only offers those barrels for Government Models. Your .38 Super is best served with a supported chamber barrel. That would indeed require minor machining and fitting of the barrel and bushing. Also its link to the pin.
 
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